Ramos ties club saves mark, keeps eyes ahead

Closer locks down 33rd straight opportunity, matching Cishek

Ramos ties club saves mark, keeps eyes ahead

MIAMI -- A.J. Ramos etched his name beside former teammate Steve Cishek in the franchise record books in the Marlins' 9-6 win over the Cubs on Saturday at Marlins Park.

Ramos notched his 33rd straight save dating back to last season, matching Cishek's club record set in 2013. But for Miami's closer, who's now a perfect 24-for-24 in save opportunities this year, that mark isn't really that important to him.

"None of that matters if I don't get the next one," he said. "That's been my attitude. It doesn't matter how many you get in a row. It's the next one that matters."

Ramos entered the game with one out in the ninth, after Dustin McGowan allowed a run on Willson Contreras' double that cut the Marlins' lead to 3. Ramos got Javier Baez to pop up, then hit Addison Russell to bring Miguel Montero, the tying run, to the plate. He struck him out.

"You feel like if you can get to [Ramos] with a lead that you're in good shape," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "It breathes a confidence. It allows me to kind of work towards him ... knowing if I can get the ball to him with a lead, that you feel good about it."

Ramos said he wasn't aware he was approaching Cishek's record until two days ago, when a reporter told him. But after learning about it, Ramos said he might text Cishek. The two shared a bullpen from Ramos' callup in 2012 until Cishek was traded midseason in '15.

"[Cishek] was a great guy," Ramos said. "I watched him lock down games and learned from him. I'd always ask him questions in different scenarios, you know, when I got called up. He's a good guy."

The key to his consistency, Ramos said, has been never giving in to hitters, no matter the situation. Thirty-three saves later, it's safe to say that approach has worked.

"Being the closer, you don't get to have an off-day. If you do, you lose the game," Ramos said. "A slump is not allowed. You can't go through a slump as a closer, or else you're out and you lose your job. I just try to stay level-headed and don't think about any records or anything."

Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.